James A. Whittaker

Special Honorary Achievement

Following graduation from high school in 1935, Jim Whittaker attended Ohio State and earned a B.S. Degree in Education. At Ohio State, Jim excelled at track and cross country lettering 3 years in both sports and was named an All-American in cross country in 1938. While serving in the Pacific theatre during WW II, a tragic series of events, which made Jim an amputee, did not discourage him or cloud his future. He returned home to teach and coach at the Ravenna Township School where he became executive head in 1947. After receiving his M.Ed. in Ed. Admin. from Kent State in 1950, Jim became Principal of Highland Elementary School. In 1959, Jim moved on to become Assistant Principal and Athletic Director of Ravenna High School. A year later, during the consolidation with Ravenna Township School, he became Curriculum Coordinator. In 1962, he was made Superintendent of Ravenna Schools and held the position until he retired in 1971. During his years as Superintendent, Ravenna High School experienced unparalleled growth and was respected as one of the best high schools in the area. Many new programs were added during his tenure and high educational standards were expected and promoted. Following his retirement as Superintendent, Jim still remained active in civic affairs. Jim was President of Rotary, active in the Portage County Community Action Council, Portage County Red Cross Safety Chairman and Ravenna City Recreation Director. The south wing of Ravenna High School was named “Whittaker Hall” in his honor so as to say in one small way how much the community of Ravenna thinks of Jim Whittaker.

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